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thermal-contraction crack

a tensile fracture resulting from thermal stresses in frozen ground.

thermal-contraction-crack ice

ice formed in thermal contraction cracks in the ground.

thermo-erosional cirque

the usually steep, horseshoe-shaped headwall of a retrogressive thaw slump.

thermo-erosional niche

a recess at the base of a river bank or coastal bluff, produced by thermal erosion of ice-bonded permafrost.

thermodynamic equilibrium thickness

the thickness at which ice no longer grows because it is so thick that heat from the ocean can no longer be conducted through the ice; it may take several years of growth and melt for ice to reach an equilibrium thickness.
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thermodynamics

study of the links between heat and energy. First law of thermodynamics states that heat is energy and the amount of energy within a system cannot change.

thermograph

an instrument continuously recording temperature.

thermokarst

the process by which characteristic landforms result from the thawing of ice-rich permafrost or the melting of massive ice.

thermokarst lake

a lake occupying a closed depression formed by settlement of the ground following thawing of ice-rich permafrost or the melting of massive ice.
Increased thawing of frozen ground could create more thermokarst features, like this lake. —Credit: Andrew Slater

thermokarst mound

a hummock remaining after melting of the ice wedges surrounding an ice-wedge polygon.

thermokarst terrain

the often irregular topography resulting from the melting of excess ground ice and subsequent thaw settlement.

thermometer

an instrument for measuring temperature; in meteorology, generally used to measure the temperature of the air or the soil.

thermosyphon

a passive heat transfer device installed to remove heat from the ground.

thomson crystal

a large ice crystal found in deep, stagnant water-filled cavities of a glacier.
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thufur

perennial hummocks formed in either the active layer in permafrost areas, or in the seasonally frozen ground in non-permafrost areas, during freezing of the ground.
These big lumps in the ground are called thufur. Thufur can form when the ground freezes and thaws. These thufur are in Iceland. —Credit: Reinhold Richter

tide crack

the fissure at the line of junction between an immovable icefoot or ice wall and fast ice, the latter being subject to the rise and fall of the tide.

tidewater glacier

mountain glacier that terminates in the ocean.
Holgate Glacier, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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timber line

(1) in mountainous regions, the line above which climatic conditions do not allow the upright growth of trees (2) the poleward limit of tree growth, also known as the tree line.

tongue

a projection of the ice edge up to several km in length caused by wind and current; usually forms when a valley glacier moves very quickly into a lake or ocean.
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total annual freezing index

the cumulative number of degree-days, calculated by adding all the negative mean daily air temperatures (degrees Celsius) for a specific station during a calendar year.

total annual thawing index

the cumulative number of degree-days, calculated by adding all the positive mean daily air temperatures (degrees Celsius) for a specific station during a calendar year.

total water content (of frozen ground)

the total amount of water (unfrozen water plus ice) contained in soil or rock.

transient talik

a layer or body of unfrozen ground (in a permafrost area) that is gradually being eliminated by freezing.

tributary glacier

a small glacier that flows into a larger glacier.
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Tropic of Cancer

the northern parallel of maximum solar declination, approximately 23° 27′ N latitude; the farthest northern latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead, which occurs on the day of the summer solstice.

Tropic of Capricorn

the southern parallel of maximum solar declination, approximately 23° 27′ S latitude; the farthest southern latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead, which occurs on the day of the summer solstice.

tropopause

the boundary layer between the troposphere and stratosphere, where an abrupt change in temperature lapse rate usually occurs; it is defined as the lowest level at which the lapse rate decreases to 2 degrees Celsius per kilometer or less, provided that the average lapse rate between this level and all higher levels within 2 kilometers does not exceed 2 degrees Celsius per kilometer; occasionally, a second tropopause may be found if the lapse rate above the first tropopause exceeds 3 degrees Celsius per kilometer.

troposphere

lower part of the atmosphere, extending from the surface up to a height varying from about 7 to 9 kilometers (4.3 to 5.6 miles) at polar regions to approximately 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) in tropics; characterized by decreasing temperature with height, appreciable vertical wind motion, appreciable water vapor content, and weather.

trough

in meteorology, an elongated area of relatively low atmospheric pressure; the opposite of a ridge.

tundra

treeless terrain, with a continuous cover of vegetation, found at both high latitudes and high altitudes.

turbic cryosol

a mineral soil showing marked evidence of cryoturbation, as indicated by broken horizons and displaced material.

turf hummock

a hummock consisting of vegetation and organic matter with or without a core of mineral soil or stones.

turf-banked (solifluction) lobe

a solifluction lobe with its front covered by a vegetation mat.

turf-banked (solifluction) terrace

a solifluction terrace with its front covered by a vegetation mat.

two-layer permafrost

ground in which two layers of permafrost are separated by a layer of unfrozen ground.

two-phase thermosyphon

a passive heat transfer device, filled with a temperature-dependent liquid/vapour combination, installed to remove heat from the ground.

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